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Charlton Athletic make goalkeeping transfer window deal a priority despite Will Mannion capture


Charlton Athletic kicked off their summer transfer window by signing Will Mannion on Monday, but that will not stop them looking to add another new face in their goalkeeping department.

Mannion, 26, has signed a three-year contract with the Addicks that will kick in once his Cambridge United deal expires at the end of this month.

Our paper exclusively revealed on May 23 that the former AFC Wimbledon youngster was on the radar of the SE7-based club.

Charlton are also determined to bring in an experienced stopper with Harry Isted and Ashley Maynard-Brewer both still contracted but surplus to requirements.

Our paper understands that several options have been explored – including John Ruddy. But the veteran keeper has been offered new terms by Birmingham City who, along with Wrexham, are set to be the biggest spenders in the division.

One of the reasons for appointing Jones at the start of February was not just to stave off the threat of relegation from League One but also to allow him to review the quality and composition of Charlton’s squad before the next window opened.

It is patently clear that the Addicks need to tighten up defensively if they want to be in the promotion picture with only eight clubs in the division conceding more goals (65).

Maynard-Brewer has been on Charlton’s books since the age of 14. He started last season as number one and kept two clean sheets in 25 league matches – conceding 41 times.

Once Jones replaced Michael Appleton he opted to field Isted, who he had worked with at Luton Town.

Picture: Paul Edwards

Isted signed last summer on a free transfer and finished off the previous campaign with three shutouts, conceding 31 goals in 23 league outings.

Both Maynard-Brewer and Isted have generated interest which has yet to lead to anything concrete.

Jones is set to largely go with a three-man central defence next season and will also look to bring in another centre-back to compete with Lloyd Jones, Macaulay Gillesphey and Rarmani Edmonds-Green.

Zach Mitchell will come back into the senior group after his loan spell at Colchester United so that his progression can be assessed before deciding the next step for the 19-year-old, who also has admirers at other clubs.

Charlton have triggered the one-year extension clause in Lucas Ness’ contract. The 22-year-old impressed in the 2022-23 season, including an assured display at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup, but struggled for form last time around.

Mannion finished last season strongly and one of his 18 appearances for Cambridge came in their 1-1 draw against his new employer in April.

“We identified Will as a really good goalkeeper who has done fantastically well at Cambridge and he did well against us in the game that he played,” said Jones.

“He’s someone that’s a really good profile in terms of size. He’s on his way up, he’s really hungry and he wants to get to and play at a higher level.

“He’ll provide really good competition to those who we bring into that department and obviously he brings a real talent to it.

“We want to improve the department. We’re looking to bring in two goalkeepers to have a real competitive edge to them and two we believe can play at not just this level, but also can play at the level above.

“We’d like to get the squad completed by our return date of June 27. We’ve worked tirelessly for the last three to four weeks in terms of arranging meetings with players. We’re trying to be bold in our recruitment.

Picture: CAFC

“I’m sure that by the time that we do get to the first day of pre-season, we’ll have the majority, if not all, of our squad in place. That’s so important because pre-season is an important time to gel the squad and lay down certain things.

“What we don’t want to do is a big Those players we bring in now have to be able to not only do well for Charlton now, but be able to have the capacity to play at a higher level as well.”

Mannion has been capped at England U19 level. He was sold by the Dons to Hull in 2016.

“It feels great to be here,” he said. “When the manager called me, it definitely perked my ears up.

“Collectively, the goal is to push for promotion. That was made clear when I spoke to the gaffer, and that’s something that drew me to the club, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do this season.”


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